Evangelism: One on One
- Thursday, August 11, 2011
Dr. Delos Miles was my evangelism professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. His definition of evangelism was "building a bridge from your heart to the heart of a lost person so Jesus can walk across." Bridge building requires close contact. It requires a radical commitment to relationship building. Jesus practiced up close, one on one evangelism with the woman at the well; the woman caught in adultery, and Matthew the tax collector. He was criticized by the religious elite of the day but He rejected their taunts in favor of spending time with lost people. We must be willing to do the same.
Verse 31 has the invitation from the Ethiopian to Philip to "come up and sit." Philip had to climb over a lot of barriers when he climbed into that chariot. He had to climb over the race barrier, the class barrier, the culture barrier, and the barrier between Jew and Gentile. None of those barriers mattered to Philip and they must not matter to us. We must be willing to go up and sit, to spend time with those who are hungry to know God. We should be willing to pour out our lives for their sake.
Verse 35 really holds the key to the entire witness experience. Philip "opened his mouth and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him." It isn't our clever stories or our preaching method that will win the lost to Christ. It isn't enough to live our lives in front of lost people hoping they will catch our faith through some kind of spiritual osmosis. We must be willing to preach Jesus Christ crucified, dead, buried, and raised again to new life.
Finally, when Philip and the Ethiopian came to place where there was water, verse 38 says they "both went down into the water." This speaks of walking with a new believer through the early stages of his new faith. Christ called us to "make disciples" not count converts. Disciple making requires a willingness on our part to become a mentor for new believers. One who is willing to pour into their life the goodness God has poured into our life.
Evangelism one on one… it worked with a seeker in the desert. It will work with lost people today.
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